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DIS takes Kgosi to court for media expose

Former spy boss, Colonel Isaac Kgosi will before the end of this month appear before the court of law for a possible charge of exposing the Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS) operations to the public.

Section 19 of the Intelligence Security Services entails the prohibition of disclosure of identity. It states that, A person who discloses the identity of another person which he or she has obtained or to which he or she has had access by virtue of

(a)the performance of his or her duties or functions under this Act, or
(b)his or her position as a person who holds or has held any office in the Directorate, and from which the identity of any person who-
(i) is or was a confidential source of information to the Directorate or
(i)is  or was an officer or support staff engaged in covert operational activities of the Directorate,

Can be inferred, and who discloses such information to any person other than a person to whom he or she is authorized to disclose it or to whom it may lawfully be disclosed, shall be guilty of an offence. Kgosi was featured in some publications claiming that there was a plot to assassinate him two weeks ago. He had allegedly shared with the said media houses pictures of his alleged perpetrators who are intelligence agents armed with weapons.

In his version on the complaint letter to the security organs, Kgosi claims that the two intelligence agents had followed him into the physiotherapy clinic where they aggressively demanded from the receptionist that they be taken to him. He further alleges that he followed and found his perpetrators parked outside; deadly armed with weapons of war including an Uzi submachine gun after their request was turned down by the receptionist at the clinic.

On the contrary, sources in the intelligence circle claim that the two officers had followed Kgosi to pass a communiqué concerning his recent raids. ”They just informed the receptionist that they were there to see him. And he came out to meet the officers outside the clinic premises.” When asked how Kgosi was able to overpower the two officers and took pictures, the source said, “They thought they were just dealing with a mature man who understands intelligence operations better.”

Merely, a week after the said article, the intelligence officers followed Kgosi at his village during her mother’s funeral and tried in vain to confiscate his phones as part of their evidence. They followed him to town a few days later still in the search of the said phone.
Other information reaching this publication is that the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) is struggling to find concrete evidence linking Kgosi to the National Petroleum Fund (NPF) scandal.

Kgosi is at the center of the alleged laundered P230m NPF though he has not been charged. He made a request for the said money from NPF; he later diverted the funds; he appointed Khulaco (Pty) to be the recipient and manager of the said sum; he made some directives on how the sum should be disbursed.

“The thing is, though it is clear Kgosi is somehow implicated, we have a difficulty in connecting him to any offence. The only thing we are pinning our hopes on is a possible charge of abuse of office and to try and see if he could have benefited from the P118m he instructed Bakang to pay to an Israel company claiming to pay for weapons for the DIS. And, remember, we are talking about Kgosi’s longtime friends here. So, it is not easy at all,” said a source close to the investigations.

On the issue of Kgosi’s old docket which has been pending before the courts for the past seven years, WeekendPost investigations have revealed that the file is with the DCEC office. The file which has been moving between the DCEC and Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) offices is currently in the hands of the DCEC for further investigations.

“While the investigations are complete in many of the multiple offences labeled against Kgosi, the DCEC is still having a difficulty on the charge where he is said to have received P900 000 from the former Debswana Managing Director the late Louis Nchindo while the money trace shows the sum was deposited from UK.”

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Transgender persons in Botswana live a miserable life

23rd November 2020
Transgender persons

An international report complied in South Africa dubbed ‘Legal Gender Recognition in Botswana’ says that the transgender and gender non-conforming people in Botswana live a miserable life. The community experiences higher levels of discrimination, violence and ill health.

In this report, it has been indicated that this is because their gender identity, which does not conform to narrowly define societal norms, renders them more vulnerable. Gender identity is a social determinant of health, which means that it is a factor that influences people’s health via their social context, their communities and their experiences of social exclusion. The Ministry of Health and Wellness has recognized this, and transgender people are considered a vulnerable population under the Botswana Second National Strategic Framework for HIV and AIDS 2010-2017.

In a recent study that shed light on the lived experiences of transgender and gender non-conforming people in Botswana, transgender persons often experience discrimination because of their gender identity and expression. The study was conducted by the University of Cape Town, LEGABIBO, BONELA, as well as Rainbow Identity Association and approved by the Health Ministry as well as the University of Botswana.

Of the 77 transgender and gender non-conforming people who participated in the study, less than half were employed. Two thirds, which is approximately 67% said that they did not have sufficient funds to cover their everyday needs. Two in five had hidden health concerns from their healthcare provider because they were afraid to disclose their gender identity.

More than half said that because of their gender identity, they had been treated disrespectfully at a healthcare facility (55%), almost half (46%) said they had been insulted at a healthcare facility, and one quarter (25%) had been denied healthcare because of their gender identity.

At the same time, the ‘Are we doing right’ study suggests that transgender and non-conforming people might be at higher risks of experiencing violence and mental ill-health, compared to the general population. More than half had experienced verbal embarrassment because of their gender identity, 48% had experienced physical violence and more than one third (38%) had experienced sexual violence.

The study showed that mental health concerns were high among transgender and gender non-conforming people in Botswana. Half of the transgender and gender non-conforming study participants (53%) showed signs of depression. Between one in four and one in six showed signs of moderate or severe anxiety (22% among transgender women, 24% among transgender men and 17% among gender non-conforming people).

Further, the study revealed that many had attempted suicide: one in three transgender women (32%), more than one in three transgender men (35%) and three in five gender non-conforming people (61%).

International research, as well as research from Botswana, suggests that not being able to change one’s gender marker has a negative impact on access to healthcare and mental health and wellbeing. The study further showed that one in four transgender people in Botswana (25%) had been denied access to healthcare. This is, at least in part, linked to not being able to change one’s gender marker in the identity documents, and thus not having an identity document that matches one’s gender identity and gender expression.

In its Assessment of Legal and Regulatory Framework for HIV, AIDS and Tuberculosis, the Health Ministry noted that “transgender persons in Botswana are unable to access identity documents that reflect their gender identity, which is a barrier to health services, including in the context of HIV. In one documented case, a transwoman’s identity card did not reflect her gender identity- her identity card photo indicated she was ‘male’. When she presented her identity card at a health facility, a health worker called the police who took her into custody.”

The necessity of a correct national identity document goes beyond healthcare. The High Court of Botswana explains that “the national identity document plays a pivotal role in every Motswana’s daily life, as it links him or her with any service they require from various institutions. Most activities in the country require every Motswana to produce their identity document, for identification purposes of receiving services.”

According to the Legal Gender Recognition in Botswana report, this effectively means that transgender, whose gender identity and expression is likely to be different from the sex assigned to them at birth and from what is recorded on their identity document, cannot access services without risk of denial or discrimination, or accusations of fraud.

In this context, gays and lesbians advocacy group LEGABIBO has called on government through the Department of Civil and National Registration to urgently implement the High Court rulings on gender marker changes. As stated by the High Court in the ND vs Attorney General of Botswana judgement, identity cards (Omang) play an important role in the life of every Motswana. Refusal and or delay to issue a Motswana with an Omang is denying them to live a complete and full-filing life with dignity and violates their privacy and freedom of expression.

The judgement clarified that persons can change their gender marker as per the National Registrations Act, so changing the gender marker is legally possible. There is no need for a court order. It further said the person’s gender is self-identified, there is no need to consult medical doctors.

LEGABIBO also called on government to develop regulations that specify administrative procedure to change one’s gender marker, and observing self-determination process. Further, the group looks out for government to ensure members of the transgender community are engaged in the development of regulations.

“We call on this Department of Civil and National Registration to ensure that the gender marker change under the National Registration Act is aligned to the Births and Deaths Registry Act to avoid court order.

Meanwhile, a gay man in Lobatse, Moabi Mokenke was recently viciously killed after being sexually violated in the streets of Peleng, shockingly by his neighbourhood folks. The youthful lad, likely to be 29-years old, met his fate on his way home, from the wearisome Di a Bowa taverns situated in the much populated township of Peleng Central.

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Khato Civils fights back, dares detractors

23rd November 2020
Khato-civil

CEO of Khato Civils Mongezi Mnyani has come out of the silence and is going all way guns blazing against the company’s adversaries who he said are hell-bent on tarnishing his company’s image and “hard-earned good name”

Speaking to WeekendPost from South Africa, Mnyani said it is now time for him to speak out or act against his detractors. Khato Civils has done several projects across Africa. Khato Civils, a construction company and its affiliate engineering company, South Zambezi have executed a number of world class projects in South Africa, Malawi and now recently here in Botswana.

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UDC petitioners turn to Saleshando

23rd November 2020
Dumelang Saleshando

About ten (10) Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) parliamentary candidates who lost the 2019 general election and petitioned results this week met with UDC Vice President, Dumelang Saleshando to discuss the way forward concerning the quandary that is the legal fees put before them by Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) lawyers.

For a while now, UDC petitioners who are facing the wrath of quizzical sheriffs have demanded audience with UDC National Executive Committee (NEC) but in vain. However after the long wait for a tete-a-tete with the UDC, the petitioners met with Saleshando accompanied by other NEC members including Dr. Kesitegile Gobotswang, Reverend Mpho Dibeela and Dennis Alexander.

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